During the Build conference in April, Microsoft announced that it will make Windows free for its hardware partners making phones and tablets with screens smaller than 9 inches. As promised, the company has just unveiled Windows 8.1 with Bing, which is exactly this royalty-free version of Windows 8.1 meant for small tablets.
Windows 8.1 with Bing provides all the same great experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the Windows 8.1 Update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. And of course customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu, providing them with control over search engine settings. This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners. Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365.
According to a statement to PCWorld, Microsoft will license this edition of Windows to other OEM form factors as well. Of course, the aim of this (along with the lowering of system requirements for Windows devices to 1GB RAM and 16GB storage) is to make Windows devices cheaper to make (from the OEMs' perspective) and thus more affordable, which hopefully, would then attract more people to buy more Windows devices.
The first devices running Windows 8.1 with Bing are expected to be announced at Computex in early June.